The donuts are scheduled to come out on July 6.
Now, you absolutely do not need anything special to make them (I’m working on the assumption you can already tell that you need needles and yarn and stuffing just by looking at them). But if you want to get a bit, um, shall we say exuberant, there are a few things I suspect one or two of you might want to lay hands on before you get started. So I figured I’d talk a bit about what I used so you can see what you might want and have it on hand when the pattern drops!
First, the yarn. Donut-colored yarn is surprisingly hard to find! I made my larger donuts with Madeline Tosh’s TML Trpple Twist or Tosh DK in the color Glazed Pecan color and my smaller donuts with Halcyon Yarn’s Victorian 2-ply in color 1050. I held a strand of KnitPicks’ Alpaca Bloom in the color Golden Yellow alongside those yarns. You don’t have to hold a fuzzy strand with your base yarn, but I think it lets you get a denser fabric, which I like when I’m stuffing things. If you’re having trouble tracking down donut colored yarn, I asked on instagram for suggestions and there are oodles of them in the comments on this post.
Finding icing-colored yarn is ever so much easier. I used a whole bunch of scraps from the scraps bin (meaning the labels are lost to the mists of time), but a couple of dozen yards of lovely bright fuzzy laceweight (like Shibui’s Silk Cloud or Rowan’s Kid Silk Haze) in whatever colors give you donut vibes is what you’re looking for.
The bigger donuts (about 4 inches across, more or less the size of standard donuts) took around 50 yards of each of the yarns, smaller donuts (about 2 inches across, more or less the size of the mini ones you get in a bag at the gas station on hour 5 of a really long road trip) take more like 35. If you’re going to go off on wild, donut-themed adventures and scale it up to be massively bigger you will, unsurprisingly want more yarn. But for anything that falls in the realm of realistic sized donut, 100 yards or less should be plenty.
For needles, you just need whatever you like for working in the round on a small number of stitches. For me, that’s DPNs, but you can totally do it with one or two circulars if that’s what works better for you. You’ll want needles that give you a nice tight fabric with your chosen yarn. You’ll also want a couple of scraps of waste yarn to hold stitches out of the way every now and then (and I’m going to assume you know you need stuff like scissors to cut your yarn and a darning needle to weave in your ends).
You’ve got several choices for stuffing. I used weighted plastic pellets because I really like the heft they give to the finished donuts. Someone somewhere is about to say something snarky about plastic, and I’m going to ask that you not. Plastic you use once and throw away is often a bad idea (though certainly not always, some of that single use plastic is literally life saving medical equipment and we should be glad it exists), but plastic that you put into service and then keep on using for the foreseeable future is actually often the best choice for the job at hand. I have had the best luck with this brand of pellets, but you can find lots of different ones out there (amazon links are affiliate links, and there’s a whole weird set of laws that say I have to explicitly say that, hence this weird disclaimer).
You can also use more traditional stuffing. The donuts will look the same, just not weigh quite as much. You can use polyester stuffing if you happen to have it, but I tend to prefer using inexpensive wool. I feel like wool less likely to work its way out through the holes in your knitting, if you get the undyed stuff it’s not quite as blinding white so you don’t see it as much through your fabric, and just feels nicer. I bought a pound of something very much like this a few years ago, have lost track of how many things I’ve stuffed from it, and have only gone through about half of it.
My guess is most of you will go with either pellets or stuffing, but you have a few other choices. You can use something like dried rice (or beans or lentils or any other sort of similarly shelf stable dry good) and use your donuts as microwaveable hand warmers. If you do that, be sure your yarn and filling and any embelishments you add are all 100% natural materials (no polyester or nylon or rayon or other man made materials in the yarn, stuffing, or sprinkles if you’re going to put it in the microwave). And just sort of generally be sensible and start with a short time and watch it while it’s in there.
And of course you can sneak a bit of lavender or other good smelling thing in along with any of those options. Or add a bit of catnip to make a cat toy. If you do that, I’d recommend using wool stuffing. I don’t care how firmly you knit, your cat can probably work plastic pellets or dried beans out of the fabric and that would be a mess at best (plus cats just seem to love the way the wool ones feel).
And finally, sprinkles. I used bugle beads and I think they are just about perfect. I found I liked the opaque ones better than the more common translucent ones because they looked more like real sprinkles, but there are a staggering array of options. These are the exact ones I used (and I actually bought a set of sort of matching seed beads in case I wanted rounder sprinkles, but ended up not using them). (Did I buy matching actual edible sprinkles to take to my favorite local donut shop to be used on the prop donuts? Yes, yes I did. Do I expect anyone else to do the same? No of course not. But if I don’t mention it, someone will ask, and I’m really trying to get it all in one post I can point to as needed.) Also if you’re working with beads, you’ll need an alarmingly tiny needle and disturbingly tiny thread to sew them on with.
If you want to give this to kids or animals, or if you want to put it in the microwave, or even if you just don’t want the tactile experience of beads (which can be rough), you might want to add sprinkles with embroidery thread instead. It’s cheap and easy to find and comes in a staggering array of colors, so I’d say just take your donut into your local fabric store and see what they have that looks good with your icing.
Now, just so no one is overwhelmed, you absolutely don’t need anything beyond knitting needles and yarn (which I sort of assume you have on hand) and something to stuff them with (which you can probably tell just by looking at them, and which there’s a good chance you have on hand if you’re generally inclined to knit tiny things). So please don’t fret, you absolutely do not have to go track down any stuff you don’t want to use. I just wanted to walk you through the things I used in case you want to go shopping before the pattern comes out.
And, as always, if you want me to let you know when it is live, you can make that happen right here. (I do need to ask that you sign yourself up if you want to be on the mailing list instead of just leaving a comment with your email address or telling me some other way. There are a whole weird set of laws about that too, and doing it through the form there lets me be sure I’m following them.)
Once that’s done, all you have to do is decide what flavors you want! I think I might need to add a lemon glazed one to the mix…